Fighting cancer, Chavez seeks aid from deities
Caracas: President Hugo Chavez is seeking
divine support from indigenous deities and spirits from
Venezuela's central plains to help him survive cancer.
Chavez often describes himself as a devout Roman
Catholic, although his religious beliefs are eclectic.
The former paratroop commander's religious doctrines are
rooted in his upbringing in Venezuela's plains region. Many
people there adhere to numerous folk religions, such as a sect
that venerates the Indian goddess Maria Lionza.
Many people suffering from illnesses pray to the folk
deities or offer them animal sacrifices in return for improved
health or cures.